Interview with Filmmaker Emeline Castaneda (KADDISH!)

Emeline Castaneda’s short film KADDISH! was the winner of “Best Film” at the 2016 FEEDBACK Horror/Thriller Film Festival. The film was a master in nailing the tone of comedy & horror while telling an engaging story. It was an honor chatting with her about this short and what’s next for the award winning filmmaker:

Read Movie Review of KADDISH!

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Emeline Castaneda: I had no idea, three weeks, before that I was going to do it! I was away in holidays and I think it’s a friend who sent me a brief for a short film competition. The deadline was three weeks from then and I was really inspired by the brief. I had never considered making a zombie movie before but I realized very soon how fun it was. And I jumped into it.

MT: From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

EC: It took me three weeks. I wrote it in 4 days, then a week and a half to prepare, find the actors, the locations, etc… And then two days of shooting and 5 days of post production. We had to to it very fast (not much sleep during that period) because I had planned to send it to a short film competition. Which in the end I didn’t because the film was too long…

MT: How would you describe your short film in two words!?

EC: “Shoah, the Musical”.

MT: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

EC: Timing… I had very little time in order to complete the film. But I was very lucky because I found everything I needed into the timeframe.

MT: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

EC: I was really moved to watch people from the other side of the world talking about my film and about how much they enjoyed watching it. You know that your film is being watched somewhere, but it is something else to actually see the audience and hear their comment. It really felt magical.

MT: How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

EC: I was going for zombies, but I knew one thing I wanted to do a musical out of it. So I decided to combine the two of them. And I have been raised with tales and jokes from the jewish culture. I am not jew myself but my step father is and I think I never really realized until “Kaddish!” how important it had been for me.

And all my influences, from my taste for musicals to my passion for costumes and designs, everything united to become a film.

MT: What film have you seen the most in your life?

EC: I think I can safely say, the adams family values by Barry Sonnenfeld.

MT: What is next for you? A new film?

EC: I am currently wring my first feature film (which will not be genre film, no zombies, no vampires, but some car chases..) and working at the same time on my next zombie short film.

Emeline Castaneda
Writer / Director

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of KADDISH!: 


Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Fesival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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